Garlic, Allium sativum, is a bulbous plant easily grown in East Lansing gardens and common at the farmer stalls at the East Lansing Farmers Market in the spring and early summer. While the whole plant is edible, most people eat the mature bulb, which is formed from 6-10 cloves divided by a papery skin. In the next few weeks, garlic bulbs should be ready for harvest.
Image: mature purslane, photo courtesy of Oregon State University
Several years ago, I returned to East Lansing in mid-July from a week-long vacation and found innumerable purslane plants that had grown considerably among our staked tomato plants. I recognized the plant from the edges of sidewalks in town and paths on the MSU campus but had not paid much attention to it.
After the most recent rain, the cottonwoods of East Lansing have begun releasing their cottony seeds. The eastern cottonwood, Populus deltoides, is a huge hardwood tree native to the eastern U.S. and common in damp areas and the banks of rivers and streams of Michigan. A young tree can grow more than six feet a year and a 150-foot-tall, mature tree can develop a vase-shaped crown 75 feet across.
Above: Canada Geese adults and goslings yesterday on the MSU campus near the Red Cedar River
Spring is a time of graduation and, over the last several weeks, the young of East Lansing, outfitted in their youthful finery, have been trying out their wings and leaving the nest. Fledging and immaturity are risky times for young birds, as for all young animals. Sharp-eyed East Lansing residents may come upon young birds in the community this time of year as they try out their new environments.
In the spring of 2013, Glencairn neighborhood resident Beth Prince had to remove some dying pine trees from her yard. The result was a wide open expanse of sun, a hot (no pun intended) commodity in Glencairn. While being known for mature trees that tower over the historical homes, many areas of the neighborhood are subject to omnipresent shade. In fact, instead of lush, manicured lawns, many homes utilize shade gardens and ground cover plants to complement their perennial gardens.
It’s hard to imagine that your yard may be bone-dry in just a few weeks, but during the hot summer months it is likely that you will need to water it.
An easy, economical and green way to capture water now and store it for the future use is via rain barrel. Collecting rainwater for use during dry months is actually an ancient practice, dating back as far as 2,000 years ago.
As a lover of vegetable gardening, I look forward each spring to the first “meals from the garden.” Even with our jerry-rigged greenhouse of three old storm windows laid across a repurposed sandbox, the lettuces, spinach, and arugula planted a month ago aren’t yet anywhere near ready to pick this early in the spring.
Image: BWL trimmer truck at Hannah Plaza earlier today
At last week's meeting of the Glencairn Neighborhood Association, Lansing Board of Water and Light’s (BWL’s) Manager of Community Services Bob Perialas informed those present that BWL has changed its tree-trimming schedule for East Lansing. A follow-up email exchange with Perialas confirmed that “East Lansing Trimming has been pushed back to 2016 and 2017.”